In recent years, natural gas has seen a considerable amount of growth due to large reserves being found throughout the United States, utilities realizing that it is the cheaper option, and cities converting their buses to be fueled by natural gas. Because of this, some people were suggesting that the natural gas industry had a winning streak that wasn’t going to end. Although they have made the case that natural gas is better for the environment than large, coal burning plants, lawmakers seem headstrong to keep coal as the nation’s primary energy provider.
A natural gas plant.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle say that the new technology being developed to capture the carbon emissions and bury them is a better tactic to employ than the use of natural gas. There is a lot of money that is riding on the coal industry, money that aids many politicians to get elected. It’s because of this that there is a large mixture of science, business, politics, and environment that is making the energy bills going through the House and Senate worth debating.
People are dismayed that an issue that should be so simple is causing such apathy in Congress. The current House bill that was passed in June provided some support to natural gas, but majority power landed in coal once again. They were provided tens of billions of dollars in pollution credits. Because of this, the savings will be passed on to the consumer. Environmentalists are frustrated about this because all of these billions of dollars in pollution credits are not doing a single thing to ensure that the environment is being protected from this overload in greenhouse gases.
A lot of people in the coal industry are arguing that the technology of capturing and burying the emissions in the ground is a great way to ensure that the emissions aren’t getting into the air. The natural gas people are arguing that natural gas is a sure way to reduce greenhouse gases unlike an “untested technology.” Because of this, the battle is continuing over which is the better method of providing both the necessary energy in the United States, but also ensuring that the environment doesn’t get destroyed more because of all these greenhouse gases.
In the end, officials are saying that, although it may be nice to have benefits to coal and natural gas, but also a decrease in greenhouse gases, there is little way to benefit both parties. There will have to be a choice.